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PG&E warns of possible power shutoff for 22 counties, 25K customers in California starting Monday

SAN FRANCISCO — Pacific Gas & Electric said it may shut off power to about 25,000 customers in 22 counties in California beginning on Monday due to potentially dry, gusty winds that could raise the risk of electrical equipment sparking fires.

The scope has been reduced from the 44,000 customers in 32 counties initially announced on Saturday. This potential PSPS event is expected to be focused within the Northern Sierra Foothills, North Bay and North Coast regions with minimal impact to Bay Area and Central Valley customers.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning of extreme fire danger starting late Sunday when offshore winds are expected to develop across parts of northern and central California. The warning extends to late Tuesday and the strongest winds are expected on Monday.
The high winds, combined with bone-dry vegetation caused by the drought, could increase the risk of trees falling on power lines and sparking a wildfire, PG&E said.

The utility began intentionally shutting off power in the fall of 2019 to prevent wildfires after an investigation determined the Camp Fire that wiped out most of the town of Paradise was sparked by its equipment. The company filed for bankruptcy and pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter related to the 2018 fire.

It also faces numerous criminal charges for fires caused by its fraying equipment, including involuntary manslaughter charges filed last month in connection to a wildfire near the city of Redding last year that killed four people.

Here is a list of counties that could be impacted from PG&E:

The shutoff is expected to potentially affect approximately 25,000 customers in these counties:

Alameda: 134 customers, 10 Medical Baseline customers
Butte: 1,342 customers, 98 Medical Baseline customers
Colusa: 566 customers, 39 Medical Baseline customers
Contra Costa: 597 customers, 40 Medical Baseline customers
Fresno: 189 customers, 6 Medical Baseline customers
Glenn: 376 customers, 22 Medical Baseline customers
Kern: 633 customers, 34 Medical Baseline customers
Kings: 10 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers
Lake: 4,008 customers, 304 Medical Baseline customers
Merced: 14 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers
Monterey: 854 customers, 27 Medical Baseline customers
Napa: 2,428 customers, 113 Medical Baseline customers
Plumas: 309 customers, 4 Medical Baseline customers
San Benito: 84 customers, 2 Medical Baseline customers
San Luis Obispo: 223 customers, 4 Medical Baseline customers
Santa Barbara: 27 customers, 2 Medical Baseline customer
Shasta: 2,336 customers, 172 Medical Baseline customers
Solano: 4,561 customers, 423 Medical Baseline customers
Sonoma: 87 customers, 1 Medical Baseline customer
Stanislaus: 30 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers
Tehama: 5,342 customers, 498 Medical Baseline customers
Yolo: 515 customers, 16 Medical Baseline customers

Potentially affected tribal areas:

Cortina Rancheria: 8 customers, 1 Medical Baseline customer
Grindstone Rancheria: 50 customers, 4 Medical Baseline customers
Middletown Rancheria: 34 customers, 1 Medical Baseline customer
Mooretown Rancheria: 1 customer, 0 Medical Baseline customer
Pit River Tribes: 8 customers, 0 Medical Baseline customers


The AP has contributed to this report

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